Flights from London to Thessaloniki should take around three hours but for dozens of Ryanair passengers it lasted nearly 24, with the Greek government forced to step in to help out.
Foggy conditions in Greece meant the plane from Stansted airport was diverted to Timisoara in western Romania late on Friday.
This decision angered many of the 200 passengers, who wanted to fly closer to their original destination.
They became more frustrated when the airline offered to transport them to Thessaloniki by bus – a journey of 480 miles that takes over eight hours.
Eighty-nine people refused despite, according to the passengers, pressure from airport authorities, and were kept in the baggage area overnight.
Some said they believed the decision to go to the Romanian airport – part of Ryanair’s network – rather than somewhere closer was to minimise costs.
Disgruntled passengers contacted the media in Greece and the country’s government then arranged with Greek carrier Aegean Airlines to send a plane to Timisoara.
The 89 ended up arriving in Thessaloniki around 5pm on Saturday – nearly a full day after they set off.
Ryanair apologised for the diversion, saying that it was “beyond our control”.
In a statement, it said: “This flight from London Stansted to Thessaloniki (4 January) diverted to Timisoara due to extreme weather conditions at Thessaloniki.
“The aircraft landed normally in Timisoara and a coach was organised to transfer affected customers to Thessaloniki or customers could wait for an alternative flight to be arranged.
“Those who chose not to avail of the coach transfer were offered hotel accommodation at Timisoara. Customers have since departed on a flight, or availed of the alternative transport arranged, and arrived in Thessaloniki on Saturday